A premature termination codon interferes with the nuclear function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner. (1/3998)

Premature translation termination codon (PTC)-mediated effects on nuclear RNA processing have been shown to be associated with a number of human genetic diseases; however, how these PTCs mediate such effects in the nucleus is unclear. A PTC at nucleotide (nt) 2018 that lies adjacent to the 5' element of a bipartite exon splicing enhancer within the NS2-specific exon of minute virus of mice P4 promoter-generated pre-mRNA caused a decrease in the accumulated levels of P4-generated R2 mRNA relative to P4-generated R1 mRNA, although the total accumulated levels of P4 product remained the same. This effect was seen in nuclear RNA and was independent of RNA stability. The 5' and 3' elements of the bipartite NS2-specific exon enhancer are redundant in function, and when the 2018 PTC was combined with a deletion of the 3' enhancer element, the exon was skipped in the majority of the viral P4-generated product. Such exon skipping in response to a PTC, but not a missense mutation at nt 2018, could be suppressed by frame shift mutations in either exon of NS2 which reopened the NS2 open reading frame, as well as by improvement of the upstream intron 3' splice site. These results suggest that a PTC can interfere with the function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner and that the PTC is recognized in the nucleus.  (+info)

A human sequence homologue of Staufen is an RNA-binding protein that is associated with polysomes and localizes to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. (2/3998)

In the course of a two-hybrid screen with the NS1 protein of influenza virus, a human clone capable of coding for a protein with high homology to the Staufen protein from Drosophila melanogaster (dmStaufen) was identified. With these sequences used as a probe, cDNAs were isolated from a lambda cDNA library. The encoded protein (hStaufen-like) contained four double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding domains with 55% similarity and 38% identity to those of dmStaufen, including identity at all residues involved in RNA binding. A recombinant protein containing all dsRNA-binding domains was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged polypeptide. It showed dsRNA binding activity in vitro, with an apparent Kd of 10(-9) M. Using a specific antibody, we detected in human cells a major form of the hStaufen-like protein with an apparent molecular mass of 60 to 65 kDa. The intracellular localization of hStaufen-like protein was investigated by immunofluorescence using a series of markers for the cell compartments. Colocalization was observed with the rough endoplasmic reticulum but not with endosomes, cytoskeleton, or Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, sedimentation analyses indicated that hStaufen-like protein associates with polysomes. These results are discussed in relation to the possible functions of the protein.  (+info)

RNA binding by the novel helical domain of the influenza virus NS1 protein requires its dimer structure and a small number of specific basic amino acids. (3/3998)

The RNA-binding/dimerization domain of the NS1 protein of influenza A virus (73 amino acids in length) exhibits a novel dimeric six-helical fold. It is not known how this domain binds to its specific RNA targets, one of which is double-stranded RNA. To elucidate the mode of RNA binding, we introduced single alanine replacements into the NS1 RNA-binding domain at specific positions in the three-dimensional structure. Our results indicate that the dimer structure is essential for RNA binding, because any alanine replacement that causes disruption of the dimer also leads to the loss of RNA-binding activity. Surprisingly, the arginine side chain at position 38, which is in the second helix of each monomer, is the only amino-acid side chain that is absolutely required only for RNA binding and not for dimerization, indicating that this side chain probably interacts directly with the RNA target. This interaction is primarily electrostatic, because replacement of this arginine with lysine had no effect on RNA binding. A second basic amino acid, the lysine at position 41, which is also in helix 2, makes a strong contribution to the affinity of binding. We conclude that helix 2 and helix 2', which are antiparallel and next to each other in the dimer conformation, constitute the interaction face between the NS1 RNA-binding domain and its RNA targets, and that the arginine side chain at position 38 and possibly the lysine side chain at position 41 in each of these antiparallel helices contact the phosphate backbone of the RNA target.  (+info)

Dengue virus NS3 serine protease. Crystal structure and insights into interaction of the active site with substrates by molecular modeling and structural analysis of mutational effects. (4/3998)

The mosquito-borne dengue viruses are widespread human pathogens causing dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome, placing 40% of the world's population at risk with no effective treatment. The viral genome is a positive strand RNA that encodes a single polyprotein precursor. Processing of the polyprotein precursor into mature proteins is carried out by the host signal peptidase and by NS3 serine protease, which requires NS2B as a cofactor. We report here the crystal structure of the NS3 serine protease domain at 2.1 A resolution. This structure of the protease combined with modeling of peptide substrates into the active site suggests identities of residues involved in substrate recognition as well as providing a structural basis for several mutational effects on enzyme activity. This structure will be useful for development of specific inhibitors as therapeutics against dengue and other flaviviral proteases.  (+info)

Restricted isotypic antibody reactivity to hepatitis C virus synthetic peptides in immunocompromised patients. (5/3998)

An enzyme immunoassay based on three synthetic peptides from the core, NS4, and NS5 regions of hepatitis C virus allowed the detection of antibodies in 100% of immunocompetent infected patients and in 91% of immunocompromised patients (hemodialysis and hemophiliac patients). Immune impairment seemed to restrict the spectrum of antibody isotypes reacting to the core peptide.  (+info)

Characterization of the nucleoside triphosphatase activity of poliovirus protein 2C reveals a mechanism by which guanidine inhibits poliovirus replication. (6/3998)

The highly conserved non-structural protein 2C of picornaviruses is involved in viral genome replication and encapsidation and in the rearrangement of intracellular structures. 2C binds RNA, has nucleoside triphosphatase activity, and shares three motifs with superfamily III helicases. Motifs "A" and "B" are involved in nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) binding and hydrolysis, whereas a function for motif "C" has not yet been demonstrated. Poliovirus RNA replication is inhibited by millimolar concentrations of guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl). Resistance and dependence to GdnHCl map to 2C. To characterize the nucleoside triphosphatase activity of 2C, we purified poliovirus recombinant 2C fused to glutathione S-transferase (GST-2C) from Escherichia coli. GST-2C hydrolyzed ATP with a Km of 0.7 mM. Other NTPs, including GTP, competed with ATP for binding to 2C but were poor substrates for hydrolysis. Mutation of conserved residues in motif A and B abolished ATPase activity, as did mutation of the conserved asparagine residue in motif C, an observation indicating the involvement of this motif in ATP hydrolysis. GdnHCl at millimolar concentrations inhibited ATP hydrolysis. Mutations in 2C that confer poliovirus resistant to or dependent on GdnHCl increased the tolerance to GdnHCl up to 100-fold.  (+info)

Sequence heterogeneity within three different regions of the hepatitis G virus genome. (7/3998)

Two sets of primers derived from the 5'-terminal region and the NS5 region of the hepatitis G virus (HGV) genome were used to amplify PCR fragments from serum specimens obtained from different parts of the world. All PCR fragments from the 5'-terminal region (5'-PCR, n = 56) and from the NS5 region (NS5-PCR, n = 85) were sequenced and compared to corresponding published HGV sequences. The range of nucleotide sequence similarity varied from 74 and 78% to 100% for 5'-PCR and NS5-PCR fragments, respectively. Additionally, five overlapping PCR fragments comprising an approximately 2.0-kb structural region of the HGV genome were sequenced from each of five sera obtained from three United States residents. These sequences were compared to 20 published sequences comprising the same region of the HGV genome. Nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences obtained from different individuals were homologous from 82.9 to 93. 6% and from 90.4 to 99.0%, respectively. Sequences obtained from follow-up specimens were almost identical. Comparative analysis of deduced amino acid sequences of the HGV structural proteins and hepatitis C virus (HCV) structural proteins combined with an analysis of predicted secondary structures and hydrophobic profiles allowed prediction of processing sites within the HGV structural proteins. A phylogenetic sequence analysis performed on the 2.0-kb structural region supports the existence of three previously identified HGV genetic groups. However, phylogenetic analysis performed on only small DNA fragments yielded inconsistent genetic grouping and failed to confirm the existence of genetic groups. Thus, in contrast to HCV where almost any region can be used for genotyping, only large or carefully selected genome fragments can be used to identify consistent HGV genetic groups.  (+info)

North American and European porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses differ in non-structural protein coding regions. (8/3998)

Although North American and European serotypes of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) are recognized, only the genome of the European Lelystad strain (LV) has been sequenced completely. Here, the genome of the pathogenic North American PRRSV isolate 16244B has been sequenced and compared with LV. The genomic organization of 16244B was the same as LV but with only 63.4% nucleotide identity. The 189 nucleotide 5' non-coding region (NCR) of 16244B was distinct from the LV NCR, with good conservation (83%) only over a 43 base region immediately upstream of open reading frame (ORF) 1a. Major differences were found in the region encoding the non-structural part of the ORF1a polyprotein, which shared only 47% amino acid identity over 2503 residues of the six non-structural proteins (Nsps) encoded. Nsp2, thought to have a species-specific function, showed the greatest divergence, sharing only 32% amino acid identity with LV and containing 120 additional amino acids in the central region. Nsps encoded by the 5'-proximal and central regions of ORF1b had from 66 to 75% amino acid identity; however, the carboxy-terminal protein CP4 was distinct (42% identity). The ORF 1a-1b frameshift region of 16244B had 98% nucleotide identity with LV. Consistent with previous reports for North American isolates, the six structural proteins encoded were 58 to 79% identical to LV proteins. The 3' NCR (150 nucleotides) was 76% identical between isolates. These genomic differences confirm the presence of distinct North American and European PRRSV genotypes.  (+info)